Policy Papers

History & Policy papers are written by expert historians, based on peer-reviewed research. They offer historical insights into current policy issues ranging from Afghanistan and Iraq, climate change and internet surveillance to family dynamics, alcohol consumption and health reforms. For historians interested in submitting a paper, please see the editorial guidelines.

Currently, 249 papers are freely searchable by theme, author or keyword, with new papers published regularly. Where possible, we publish papers to coincide with relevant policy developments. If you are a policy maker, civil society practitioner or journalist and would like to contact one of our historians, please contact historyandpolicy@london.ac.uk.

You can download H&P policy papers directly from the Apple iBooks store to your iPhone, iPad or Mac. We also have an Amazon Kindle version to download to your PC for transfer to your Kindle via USB cable. Please consult your Kindle manual for further details.

Planning for the Bicentenary of the Abolition of Slavery and African Emancipation in 2033-38

As we approach the bicentenary of slavery’s abolition and African emancipation (2033-2038), crucial questions are surfacing concerning how the emergence of archival evidence and new research findings can be incorporated effectively into national and local memorialisation. Dr Michael D. Bennet and Dr James S. Dawkins argue for the creation of an independent historical advisory panel to help ensure that memorialisation across Britain avoids repeating the shortfalls of previous efforts at remembrance and facilitates a more linked-up programme of memorialisation between Britain and Caribbean nations.

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Asylum Barges in historical context: Britain’s prison hulks expose fault lines in today’s policy

As part of the Home Office policy of housing asylum-seekers on barges, the first 15 refugees boarded the Bibby Stockholm on 7 August 2023. The initiative invites a number of comparisons with the use of prison hulks in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. These historical echoes suggest that the current policy may be less cheap, popular and temporary than the government seems to assume.

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The perils of integration policies: migration to Britain and Germany since 1949

Marc Collinson and Nikolaos Papadogiannis outline two contrasting immigration histories, and suggest that the narrow concept of 'integration' should be replaced by a wider, richer sense of 'reciprocity'.

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Student solidarity across borders: Students, universities and refugee crises past and present

The current refugee crisis poses difficult questions about integration strategies. Georgina Brewis draws inspiration from how students and universities responded to past crises.

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History matters… but which one? Every refugee crisis has a context

Today's European refugee crisis is often compared to the exodus catalysed by the Nazi regime or the Cold War. Jessica Reinisch argues that the flight of Syrians, Eritreans and others is only superficially similar to past crises. Nonetheless, there are striking continuities in how states respond to refugees, she argues.

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The return of the gangmaster

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Immigration and the National Health Service: putting history to the forefront

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What Does It Mean To Be British? Belfast and Liverpool's Experiences of Adaptation and Reaction, 1880-1921

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Stereotypes and the state: Britain’s travellers past and present

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History and national identity: why they should remain divorced

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About Us

H&P is based at the Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, University of London.

We are the only project in the UK providing access to an international network of more than 500 historians with a broad range of expertise. H&P offers a range of resources for historians, policy makers and journalists.

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